5 Ways to Get Moving This Winter

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Seniors enjoying an event in a clubhouse. When the weather is warm and sunny, it’s easy to feel motivated to get outside and move, and you may find that you regularly meet your physical fitness needs without even thinking about it. During winter months, when the temperatures drop significantly in our area, it may become more challenging to stay active and keep your body moving without a bit of planning. 

The good news is that there are many ways to keep moving in winter, without having to spend as much time outdoors. Whether you get your steps in by cleaning and tidying your home, inside the pool at your local rec center or by volunteering or visiting with friends, it all counts. 

The more you move in winter, the more likely you are to stave off depression and loneliness, and the better you’ll feel, overall. Even just 30 minutes of movement a day can help to increase flexibility and improve muscle strength, as well as to control diabetes and high blood pressure. Your heart, your mind and your body want you to stay in motion, so don’t let winter stop you from feeling your best. Here are 5 ways to get moving this winter!

*Before making any changes to your routine or lifestyle, consult your physician, first. 

Everything counts when it comes to movement! Each time you get up and sweep floors, wipe down countertops, vacuum rugs and dust shelves, you’re moving your body and not staying sedentary. When the weather is unbearable and you can’t make it outside or to your favorite nearby recreation center, get up and put some sparkle into your home for exercise. It will give your body and your mood a boost!

Swimming & Water Aerobics
The thought of putting on a swimsuit when it’s freezing outside may sound bizarre, but swimming is one of the best ways to move your body, all year long. Swimming laps or taking a water aerobics class are both good ways to get your heart and joints moving, and since our local rec centers and YMCAs both feature indoor pools, you can swim even when the temperatures dip too low to be outdoors.

Chair Yoga
Practicing yoga comes with many benefits, including lowered blood pressure, stress relief, increased flexibility and mobility, stronger muscles and joints, and more. Getting onto a mat to perform traditional yoga postures may not be possible, however. Chair yoga is a perfect way to access the many benefits of yoga without having to put your body and spine into uncomfortable or difficult positions. Chair yoga is accessible to most people, and classes can be found at many local rec centers, the YMCA or area gyms. 

Bundled Up Walks (Weather Permitting)
On “warmer” winter days, when temperatures climb into more comfortable ranges (well above freezing), bundle up in layers and head outdoors to soak in fresh air, vitamin D and an old fashioned walk around the neighborhood. Our bodies need sunshine and fresh air, even when the weather is cold, and getting outdoors for even a 10 or 15 minute walk can improve both your circulation and mood instantly.

Get Social
Social activities may not always include a lot of moving around, but the simple act of getting out and sharing conversation and company with others is good for your body and your mood. In winter, it may feel natural to hibernate inside alone, but break this tendency whenever possible and get out for social connection when you can. Being around others and laughing or having fun are fast ways to stave off seasonal depression and feelings of loneliness.